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FCC Commissioner McDowell resigns

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 12:32pm
Andrew Berg, Wireless Week

FCC Commissioner Rob McDowell announced Wednesday that he will be stepping down from his post. 

In a statement, McDowell said that after 7 years of serving with the FCC, he will be turning more his energies to his family. McDowell said he will step down in a "few weeks."

"Today’s announcement is not a farewell. As you know, I don’t do well with those, so let’s avoid all of that for now and tackle that challenge another day," McDowell wrote in a statement. "I will also save most of my expressions of appreciation for a later date."

McDowell did thank a number of family, friends and colleagues, as well as Senator Ted Stevens and George W. Bush. 

McDowell also said he will be talking to the FCC’s Chief Ethics Officer, Patrick J. Carney, to make sure that his departure is in full compliance with the letter and spirit of all of our ethics rules. Beyond that, however, he said he has "no plans other than to take my family on a much-needed vacation starting this weekend."

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement that McDowell has been an "extraordinary colleague – deeply knowledgeable about the vital and growing communications and tech sector, creative, wise, and a great partner on the Commission." Genachowski said McDowell was essential to the landmark reform of universal service and intercarrier compensation, as well as many steps to unleash spectrum. 

Genachowski also said a farewell to his chief counsel and the last remaining member of his original team of legal advisors, Sherrese Smith. 

On behalf of the cable industry, both the NCTA and the ACA lauded McDowell for his tenure at the FCC. NCTA CEO Michael Powell wrote: “We extend our gratitude to Commissioner McDowell for his excellent service to the Federal Communications Commission and American public.  During his time at the FCC, Commissioner McDowell has been a thoughtful and fair public servant who has always promoted the ideal that competitive marketplaces are best suited to meet consumer demand for vital communication services.  We wish Commissioner McDowell all the best in his future endeavors.”

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